- Find one of the 24 "Unusual Gems" scattered throughout Skyrim.
- Become a full member of the Thieves Guild (if not one already).
- Have the gem appraised by Vex at The Ragged Flagon in Riften.
- Collect the remaining stones of a full set and return to Vex.
- Retrieve the Crown of Barenziah and return to Vex.
What Do We Have Here?Edit
In your travels about Skyrim, you will come upon an ornate jewel (one of twenty-four spread across Skyrim) called an Unusual Gem. Subsequent actions after you acquire one of these gems depends on your membership status with the Thieves Guild.
Not a Member of the Thieves GuildEdit
If you are not a member of the Thieves Guild, picking up the first Unusual Gem you encounter will activate the miscellaneous quest objective: "Bring the Unusual Gem to an appraiser".
Depending on your past travels and interactions, following your objective marker will likely take you to Maul, a Nord thief in Riften. If you have not yet spoken with Maul, he will seek you out with some unsolicited advice. After the conversation, ask him what he knows about the gem. He will tell you that you need to show it to Vex of the Thieves Guild, to find out what the gem is worth. Maul will also tell you that to get to Vex, you must first become a member of the Thieves Guild. If you press for information on the guild, you will be told to find Brynjolf in Riften's marketplace. You can find him as suggested, or in the Bee and Barb at night. Talking to him will activate the quest A Chance Arrangement, which is the first step towards becoming a member of the Guild. Once you have access to The Ragged Flagon, seek out Vex for her appraisal of the gem. She will tell you that it is one of twenty-four stones that were pried from the crown of Queen Barenziah by a thief in an attempt to cover his tracks, and that only the complete set of twenty-four stones would be worth anything. If Maul does not tell you to find Brynjolf, you can seek him out yourself.
Already a Member of the Thieves GuildEdit
If you are a full member of the Thieves Guild when you pick up the first stone, the quest is immediately activated with the objective: "Bring the Unusual Gem to Vex in the Thieves Guild". Find Vex in The Ragged Flagon. She will tell you that it is one of twenty-four stones that were pried from the crown of Queen Barenziah by a thief in an attempt to cover his tracks. She will further inform you that the stone is worthless on its own, but that if you can find the other twenty-three, the collection would be worth a substantial sum.
Finding the GemsEdit
After showing the Unusual Gem to Vex, the gems are renamed "Stones of Barenziah," and will appear as such in your inventory when in your possession. You must now find all twenty-four stones.
You'll need to complete some other tasks before you have access to all locations where the gems are to be found:
- Begin the Dark Brotherhood questline or start the Destroy the Dark Brotherhood! quest.
- Purchase Proudspire Manor in Solitude. (25,000 gold)
- Join the College of Winterhold by completing First Lessons. You must also start Under Saarthal and progress at least to the point where Tolfdir tells you to speak with the Arch-Mage; until this point, the Arch-Mage's Quarters are locked behind an inaccessible door.
Aside from those, most other gems can actually be obtained at any point in the game. Many are located in places that you will be sent to during other quests, so you may want to consider getting the stone concurrently with the quest.
The stones are located in the following places:
|Whiterun||map||Hall of the Dead (Whiterun). Inside the Catacombs; go down the left stairs and it will be to your left, next to a skeleton.||Andurs' Arkay Amulet
Pilgrimage (doesn't send you into the catacombs)
|Whiterun†||map||Dragonsreach, the Jarl's bedroom, on the right-hand end table.||Imitation Amnesty||0007f95d|
|Whiterun†||map||Jorrvaskr's living quarters, on the bookshelf in Kodlak's room.||0007f923|
|Solitude†||map||Blue Palace, Jarl's bedroom, right side of the bed on top of the wardrobe.||0007f926|
|Proudspire Manor. Buy the house. The stone is found on the top floor in the master bedroom, on top of the wardrobe behind the door. (It's there with or without the bedroom upgrade.)||0007fb3a|
|Riften†||map||Mistveil Keep, Jarl's bedroom. Go up the stairs and through the locked center door. It will be on the end table left of the bed.||0007fb55|
|Windhelm†||map||Palace of the Kings Upstairs. Take the first door to the left upon entering the main palace area, then find Wuunferth's room at the end of the hall.||Blood on the Ice||0007f962|
|Windhelm†||map||House of Clan Shatter-Shield, on a bookshelf in the room to the left of the top of the stairs.||Mourning Never Comes||0007f965|
|Markarth†||map||The Treasury House, on a bedside table in Thonar's bedroom, which is down the hall on the left from where you enter the front door. You may need to pick an apprentice-level door, but no one reacts.||The Forsworn Conspiracy||0007f925|
|Markarth†||map||Understone Keep's Dwemer Museum, on a table in the first room to the left. Note: Do not go into the museum after completing the quest Hard Answers until you have finished the quest Darkness Returns. See the Hard Answers quest page for details.||Hard Answers||0007f909|
|College of Winterhold†||map||Arch-Mage's Quarters. Access may be gained at the end of the quest Under Saarthal.||Under Saarthal||0007f908|
|Dead Crone Rock||map||On the stone altar opposite the Word Wall.||Pieces of the Past||0007fb4f|
|Black-Briar Lodge||map||The gem is in the top floor bedroom, next to the bed.||Promises to Keep||0007fb56|
|Ansilvund||map||The gem is on the table at the end of Ansilvund Burial Chambers.||Ansilvund (quest)||0007fb5d|
|Stony Creek Cave||map||The gem is on the table next to the alchemy lab in the room off to the side.||Finn's Lute||0007fb65|
|Rannveig's Fast||map||After falling down the trapdoor in front of the chest and the Word Wall, the stone is next to the alchemy lab and chest on the right.||0007fb64|
|Fellglow Keep||map||Head straight up the stairs and to the right.||Hitting the Books||0007fb58|
|Dainty Sload||map||Head down into the waterlogged bowels and up the opposing stairs. In the last room on the table.||The Dainty Sload||0007f927|
|Sunderstone Gorge||map||On the table with two bodies in front of the Word Wall.||0007fb51|
|Yngvild||map||The gem is in the bedroom behind the throne in Yngvild Throne room.||Toying With The Dead||0007fb4a|
|Hob's Fall Cave||map||The gem is near the alchemy set under the bridge in the northwestern part of the cave system.||Pantea's Flute||0007fb63|
|Reeking Cave or
|Prior to patch 1.4, the stone is located in the Thalmor Embassy in Elenwen's Solar on the second floor. After patch 1.4, inside Reeking Cave next to a corpse in the back.
Acquiring the gem during the Diplomatic Immunity quest is advised, since the easiest way to access the cave is during your escape near the end of that quest. However, it is still possible to access Reeking Cave without doing that quest.
|Pinewatch Bandit's Sanctuary||map||Head down to the basement and press the hidden button to the right of the bookcase, providing access to the bandit's hideout. The gem is found in a locked room in the Bandit's Sanctuary.||Silver Lining||0007fb45|
|Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary||map||On the dresser in Astrid's room. It is still accessible after the Death Incarnate quest; however, the game may freeze when you try to enter the Sanctuary after completing that quest.||Sanctuary or Destroy the Dark Brotherhood!||0007f901|
† Will be marked as stolen unless you are of an appropriate faction rank.
Recovering the CrownEdit
Show Vex the full set of Stones, and she will have you travel to Tolvald's Cave to retrieve the Crown of Barenziah. The cave is three layers deep, and crawling with Falmer, so be sure to prepare yourself. When approaching the crown, three hostile Dunmer Ghosts will appear and attack. After returning with the Crown, you will receive the permanent effect Prowler's Profit, which significantly increases the chance of finding gems in randomized containers.
- The gems that will be marked as stolen may say "take" instead of "steal"; in this case, they will still be marked as stolen and you will be reported for taking them.
- If your game is prior to patch 1.4 and you haven't recovered the stone from within the Thalmor Embassy, there are multiple workarounds detailed on the location page.
- There are no quest markers for the stones, so unless you intend to find all the stones by chance, it may be best to print out a list of their locations and cross each one off as you find it.
- It is impossible to remove this quest from your list without joining the Thieves Guild; if you don't want to do that, you may be better off ignoring any Unusual Gems you come across, as they have no other use in the game and cannot be removed from your inventory without Vex.
- The stone in the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary is not generated by the game until either of the related quest lines is started.
- If you gather all 24 stones before getting Vex to identify them it won't advance to the stage where you need to turn them back in to her and your journal will still say to recover the gems (24/24).
- This bug is fixed by version 188.8.131.52.8 of the Official Skyrim Patch.
- To fix this, type these console commands:
setobjectivecompleted TGCrown 20 1, followed by
setstage TGCrown 30.
- The Prowler's Profit may not appear in the Active Effects menu, but it should still be in effect.
- This bug is fixed by version 1.3.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- Once you've learned that these Unusual Gems are actually Stones of Barenziah any new stones will no longer stack in your inventory, previously collected stones will stack when presented to Vex however.
- Repeatedly pressing the activate button while picking up a Stone may shortcut this quest. Your inventory will only increase by one Stone, but your quest progress will increase by more than one, allowing you to return to Vex and move onto recovering the Crown before visiting all 24 Stone locations.
- Sometimes the gems that are supposed to be in Fellglow Keep and Pinewatch Sanctuary don't appear and will prevent progress with the quest.
- Type the following three commands into the console for a workaround:
set TGCrownGemsFound to 24;
set TGCrownGemsTotal to 24;
setstage TGCrown 30. This will not update the journal entry with the correct number of gems found but it will unlock Vex's dialogue to proceed with the quest.
- Type the following three commands into the console for a workaround:
- The finished crown has 25 stones in it, even though only 24 exist. When found without the stones, all 25 of the crown's slots are empty.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.0.6 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- The Dunmer Ghosts in Tolvald's Cave may become hostile to each other due to an improper faction setup.
- This bug is fixed by version 2.1.0 of the Unofficial Skyrim Patch.
- There´s a chance only a single male Dunmer Ghost shows up by the crown and that it's not hostile. Upon talked to, he would say something along the lines "It's been so many years...". He can also be pickpocketed for an Elven Shield.
- If you've angered Maul, he will not speak with you about the Unusual Gem, even though he's the quest target.
- As noted in the text, this can be bypassed by simply joining the Theives Guild and ignoring Maul.
- The following empty quest stages were omitted from the table:
- TGCrownMisc: 0.
- TGCrown: 0.